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Universal Credit (UC) - How much Universal Credit (UC) will I get?

Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit for people of working-age who are on a low income.

How much Universal Credit (UC) will I get?

The amount awarded will depend on the income and circumstances of all the household members. To get an estimate of what you may be entitled to when you claim Universal Credit you can use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator.

In working out your Universal Credit award, firstly your household’s maximum Universal Credit award is calculated. This will be made up of one basic allowance and any additional elements that apply.

Universal Credit Basic Allowance

Your basic allowance will depend on whether you are single or claiming as a couple, and your age. There is one basic allowance for your household:

  • Single claimant aged under 25: £251.77 per month

  • Single claimant aged 25 or over: £317.82 per month

  • Joint claimants both aged under 25: £395.20 per month

  • Joint claimants either aged 25 or over: £498.89 per month

Universal Credit additional elements

There are additional elements that can be added to your basic allowance. Your household may qualify for more than one of these:

  • Child element

  • Childcare costs element

  • Limited capability for work element (abolished for most new claimants from 3 April 2017)

  • Limited capability for work-related activity element (LCWRA element)

  • Carer element

  • Housing costs element

The same person cannot get a LCWRA element as well as a Carer element even if they are eligible for both.

Universal Credit award

If your household has no earnings, other income, capital or savings the Universal Credit award you receive will be your maximum Universal Credit award (one basic allowance plus any additional elements) unless you are affected by the Benefit Cap which limits a household's total income from certain benefits to:

  • £1,916.67 per month for a couple or a lone parent in Greater London; or

  • £1,666.67 per month for a couple or a lone parent outside Greater London; or

  • £1,284.17 per month for a single person with no children in Greater London; or

  • £1,116.67 per month for a single person with no children outside Greater London

If anyone in your household has earnings, other income, savings or capital these will need to be taken into account to work out the Universal Credit award you may receive.

See our Universal Credit income and capital guide for further details.

What if my Universal Credit entitlement is less than my current entitlement?

If you are part of the managed migration on to Universal Credit you will not be worse off when you move over to Universal Credit. From July 2019 onwards, people will be transferred to Universal Credit from the existing benefit system.  The Department for Work and Pension call this 'managed migration'.  People moved over to Universal Credit by 'managed migration' will not be worse off when they are transferred.   If they are entitled to less under Universal Credit than under the benefits that are being replaced by it, they will receive a ‘transitional amount’ to top up their Universal Credit to the same amount, under managed migration.

However, people who make a new claim for Universal Credit will not receive any transitional amount if their Universal Credit entitlement is less than they would get under the benefits it replaces.  Only people transferred by managed migration from July 2019 onwards will get the transitional amount.  Therefore no current Universal Credit claimants are entitled to a transitional amount and they could be worse off if they claimed Universal Credit. By using the Turn2us Benefits Calculator you can see which system you are better off under - the current benefits system or Universal Credit.

See our Universal Credit Transitional Protection guide for further details

How will I be paid?

Universal Credit is a single payment made monthly in arrears.

It will take at least five weeks for you to receive your first payment.  Once you make your claim, there is a one-monthly assessment period and then payments are made seven days after the assessment period.  If, as a result, you suffer hardship, you can request a Universal Credit Advance payment and personal budgeting support.

Universal Credit will be paid into one bank account or other account nominated by each household.

The DWP will have the ability to pay more frequently or to split payment in exceptional circumstances.


Updated April 2018

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